As far as makeup goes, my under eyes are the bane of my existence. They’re crinkly, crepey, and usually a little bit darker than the rest of my face. I know there’s no use in trying to change that because it’s just how under eyes work — but God, do they make makeup application difficult. Thankfully, dark under-eye circles are welcome on TikTok, where users frequently post makeup tutorials on how to get a grungy and disheveled look that anyone over the age of 25 can accomplish by merely existing.
UK-based 17-year-old Pippa Barnes, however, has taken that concept completely over the top in the best way possible with her colorful take on eye bag makeup, which looks like gothic raccoon eyes met a technicolor rainbow. She posted her tutorial on the technique on January 19, and unsurprisingly, the rest of the app is already obsessed with it (the #colorfuleyebags tag has more than 1.4 million views, with an overwhelming majority of posts coming after Barnes’ first tutorial).
“Apparently eye bags are a trend now — which I’m not going to argue with because, clearly, I have some definite baggage going on,” she jokes in her colorful eye bag tutorial video. “Y’all know I had to spice this trend up a bit.”
Her process for achieving a colorful eye bag look is ultimately similar to that of a vibrant smoky eye — just on the bottom portion of the eye instead of the top. After all her base makeup is done, Barnes applies an eye shadow primer on her eyelids and her under eyes (like most people would with concealer). Then — and here’s the somewhat intimidating part — she emphasizes the shape of her eye bags by tapping a healthy dose of matte black eye shadow along the lower lash line and in a curved shape near the sides of her nose with a dense eye shadow brush. What follows is a ton of blending with a small fluffy brush and various shades of blue eye shadow, which she uses to create a dark-to-light gradient that spans from her lower lash line all the way toward her cheekbones.
As the rest of Barnes’ TikTok and Instagram posts prove, there’s no one correct way to do this flourishing trend — she’s showcased sparkly pastel eye bags, dark and gritty eye bags, and everything in-between throughout the past year or so. It might look like another one of Gen Z’s many out-there beauty trends, but for Barnes, colorful eye bag makeup is just her way of feeling good in her own skin. “Ever since I was little, I’ve been so insecure over my bags, constantly getting asked if I was sick or tired,” she recalls. “I thought I’d try and go totally against the beauty standards and make my bags beautiful.”
She surely makes an intriguing argument for embracing rather than concealing the facial features we aren’t the biggest fans of. Plus, there’s no time like the present to try something new and daring with your look. “Try practicing in the safety of your bedroom for a while and just get used to seeing yourself with the [eye bag] makeup,” Barnes advises to the trend’s newcomers. “Just look at all the others trying this trend and see for yourself just how hot eye bags are on everyone, especially when you add color — ‘cause everything’s better with color.”
Next time you look in the mirror and become insecure about something like your pores or nose shape or forehead, invert the narrative by using your face as a canvas as Barnes does. Maybe the rest of the world will follow.